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Whether you call it Software as a Service (SaaS), Managed Service Provider (MSP) or On-Demand Services, your organization uses the service running “in the cloud”. This blog will discuss these services, their benefits, drawbacks and operations. Are we biased? Yes. We believe that some services make sense for most organizations. Email security is one of those. However as Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, even this one.” Each Tuesday we will post information and questions about Software as a Service. Occasionally, we will have a "Guest Post" from either a consultant or vendor posting her/his thoughts on Managed Services generally as well as some degree of specificity based on her/his unique perspective. We encourage your insights, comments and feedback. Welcome.


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The Evolution of Application Delivery

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As computers and networks have evolved, so too has the location for application deployment. In some ways, it is a case of, “Déjà vu all over again.”

Traditional On-Premise Installed Application

“Back in the day,” applications ran on a mainframe with the “dumb terminal” as just an input/output device. The mainframe did all the heavy lifting. The coming of the mini-computer only changed the size (and price) of the box. However, with the coming of micro-computers, processing power got so individualized that it was a nightmare to administer.

Multi-user operating systems and faster networks brought us client/server application deployment. Again, we had servers doing the heavy lifting and client processes running on PCs. Characteristics of this phase include:

  • On-premise hardware, server, network, database, backup provisioning by customer
  • Ongoing maintenance and management performed by customer
  • Customer responsible for providing logical and physical security
  • Typically lengthy rollout/update cycles

As applications proliferated, so did the servers in ever-growing data centers. While this continues to drive a movement towards virtual and blade servers, the power consumption, cooling requirements and administrative overhead put greater demand on IT budget and staff sophistication. A new approach is gaining acceptance.

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